Woman, 28, With Terminal Cancer Marries Longtime Boyfriend While in Hospice Care
It was something they'd always dreamed of.
Matthew Mager, 29, and his longtime girlfriend, Ronda Bivens, 28, had always dreamed of getting married and weren't going to a let a terminal illness stop them.
The Tennessee couple met through a family friend when Bivens was just 18 and they've been together ever since. They have two children, ages 4 and 6.
Their lives, however, took a turn in May 2016 when, after many doctors’ visits, Bivens was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, epithelioid sarcoma, on her ankle.
Doctors said her leg needed to be amputated immediately.
“I told her from day one when we first found out she had cancer that I know we always talked about having a big wedding,” Mager told InsideEdition.com. “I said if anything happens, we will get married somehow, someway.”
No one foresaw that Bivens' cancer would eventually spread to her entire body.
After her leg amputation, Bivens walked with a prosthetic and the family thought they may be out of the woods. But then the cancer unexpectedly spread to her lungs.
Doctors have now given the mom only days to live.
On Thursday, the couple's family and friends banded together to give them the wedding they've always wanted, in spite of the circumstances.
It took place at Bivens' best friend’s home where she is receiving her hospice care.
Amanda Dalton, Bivens’ best friend, along with the help of others, asked the county clerk to send someone to the home, as well as a local preacher that the couple knew. They also bought Bivens a wedding dress for the ceremony.
On the day, the room was packed with the couple's loved ones.
“I mean, it’s something that we always wanted to do together. We’d been talking about it for years. We didn’t think it would be inside my house in a small room, but we made it work,” Dalton told InsideEdition.com.
Mager said the moment was very emotional for him.
“My goal was to give her my last name before she passes. It was really emotional. I cried," he said.
"I joke with her and say ‘you’re not going anywhere now. We are hitched.' I spend most days just holding her hand and talking to her because I may not be able to talk to her tomorrow.”
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